Russian TV: 9 Syrian planes destroyed in US strike
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Russian TV: 9 Syrian planes destroyed in US strike

Munition, fuel depots also targeted in missile raid; runway of regime's Shayrat airbase 'practically not impacted'

Illustrative photo of a Syrian army jet guided out of the hangar at Dmeir military airport, 50 km north-east of Damascus, on April 8, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)
Illustrative photo of a Syrian army jet guided out of the hangar at Dmeir military airport, 50 km north-east of Damascus, on April 8, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)

Nine planes as well as munition and fuel depots were destroyed in the US strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase early Friday but the runway was intact, the Russian state channel Rossiya24 reported from the scene.

Moscow slammed the attack ordered by US President Donald Trump as “thoughtless” and called it “aggression against a sovereign state” that violated international norms.

Trump ordered the strike in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack Tuesday after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a probe into the bombing that killed at least 86 people.

“According to preliminary information, nine Syrian airplanes were destroyed,” its correspondent said in a report from the base, broadcast hours after the strike at 0040 GMT Friday.

Stores with ammunition and fuel were also targeted, he said, adding that a fire and some explosions were ongoing.

“But not all equipment has been destroyed, there is some that was not impacted by the strike,” the correspondent said.

In this image provided by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017.(Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)
In this image provided by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017.(Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)

“The landing strip… is practically not impacted,” he added.

Footage showed the runway intact but covered in debris, as well as two planes sitting in concrete hangars.

The aircraft were apparently not heavily damaged while some other hangars were charred and surrounded by rubble.

US officials said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from Navy ships in the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield at 3:40 a.m. (0040 GMT), targeting the base from where Washington believes Tuesday’s deadly chemical attack was launched.

Calling the strike a “flagrant aggression,” the Syrian army said it had killed six people and caused extensive damage to the base.

The attack was hailed by the Syrian opposition and supported by US allies including Britain, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

But it was denounced by Assad allies Iran and Russia, with Moscow warning that it would inflict “considerable damage” on US-Russia ties and halting an agreement with Washington aimed at avoiding clashes in Syrian airspace.

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